I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Jackson is entering its fifth day without water
The Mississippi capital’s residents are bearing the brunt of decades of governmental neglect. (The Guardian)
+ The city has been forced to get by without money for infrastructure or repairs for years. (Vox)
+ It’s still unclear when running water is going to be restored. (NYT $)

2 The impact of overturning Roe v. Wade is global
The decision has emboldened pro-life activists in other countries, too. (Knowable Magazine)

3 California has asked EV owners to hold off on charging
Which is pretty terrible timing, coming just days after its recent announcement to phase out gas-fueled cars. (NYT $)
+ The current heat wave is pushing the power grid to its limits. (LA Times)
+ A solar company wants to build solar panel microgrids in Californian neighborhoods. (NYT $)
+ The US only has 6,000 fast charging stations for EVs. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Meta’s AI can “read” brainwaves
Not very accurately, though. (New Scientist $)

5 This is what an exoplanet looks like
The world, almost 400 light years away, was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. (Quanta)
+ NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission will attempt to take off again tomorrow. (Space)

6 How police track US citizens’ phones
Without a warrant, either. (Motherboard)
+ Cops built a shadowy surveillance machine in Minnesota after George Floyd’s murder. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Moth’s sensitive ears are like the ultimate microphone
Scientists want to better understand how they work. (IEEE Spectrum)

8 What it’s like to spend a sabbatical inside the metaverse
The weird, uncanny wilderness is even more unsettling with no one to interact with. (Slate $)
+ VRChat users are training visitors in how to run a virtual Kmart. (Wired $)
+ The metaverse is a new word for an old idea. (MIT Technology Review) 

9 Video games aren’t treated as serious cultural artifacts
But archivists are hoping to give them the recognition they deserve. (New Yorker $)

10 Musicians are making serious cash off their songs about poop 💩
They can thank kids yelling ‘poop’ at Alexa. (BuzzFeed News)

Quote of the day

“There are no white people there.”

—Gino Womack, program director of nonprofit Operation Good Jackson, explains to Salon how the city’s essential infrastructure, including its water systems, were allowed to fall into disrepair.

The big story

Keynes was wrong. Gen Z will have it worse.

December 2019

The founder of macroeconomics predicted that capitalism would last for approximately 450 years. That’s the length of time between 1580 and 2030, the year by which John Maynard Keynes assumed humanity would have solved the problem of our needs and moved on to higher concerns.

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